Similar to my last post, I wanted to share a brief discussion that myself and Chef Peter Bailey had after Chef Percy Whatley sent us a link.
This link is to an article/video that addresses the value of eating as a vegetarian or also meat. It is well worth reading if you are interested in cooking and/or eating. Myself and Chef Bailey launched into debate.
I started by saying:
Well…the debate has been going on for quite a while and I suspect will be going on quite a bit longer. My reasoning goes as follows:
Mother Nature has not designed us to be strictly vegetarian…we have teeth that are designed to cut and chew on meats. We have a stomach that has been designed to digest meats. We have a full body that has been designed to grow and develop with the help of meat protein…and I am confident there is probably a few m ore reasons that were designed right from the get go from Mother Nature; Such as…Eskimos and Alaskans could not really survive very long on a vegetarian diet.
My point is as follows…you can try to mess with Mother Nature for a while, but you know what, she will eventually and always come back on top. She’s been there way before us and will certainly be there after us. Whether we follow a vegetarian diet or not. So, might as well go along with her instead of trying to reinvent the wheel. Have some meats and fishes in moderation. It’s good for you as well as the planet.
Chef Peter then responded:
I totally agree with you to some degree but being omnivores, our bodies can digest any kind of food stuffs and I think that we should strive for a diet of 80 percent vegetable and only 20 percent animal product. They did a study on the Black Bears here in Yosemite and they are also omnivores. They found out that 80 percent of their diet was indeed vegetable in nature (nuts, berries and grasses) which surprised the researchers (as they assumed bears were mostly meat eaters).
As I get older I am finding that this ratio is what makes me feel better and my whole body seems to function much better to boot. When I go to a restaurant I am always disappointed with the paltry amount of vegetables I received compared to the slab of animal protein on the plate. Living in France, when you ate out, an 8 oz. steak was considered a large piece of meat and always seems to be accompanied by a well-balanced array of either salad or vegetables and a starch (though not always presented at the same time as the vegetables were often served as a course by themselves). I never seemed to feel bloated when I left the restaurant but always satisfied at the same time.
With that said, the whole world would all be much better off if the factory farms and all the bad practices that go along with them were done away with and the farmers got back to multi-culture instead of the monoculture they practice now.
Then I responded:
Absolutely Chef Peter…I totally agree with you. Thank you.
This is a really good discussion and my hope would be that in the coming year, that is shared and contributed by many and I do mean many DNC chefs. We have so many areas we can talk about…it is terrific and mind-boggling.
Finally, Chef Percy shared this:
I love this stuff. If this is sparking interest at all to anyone and you want to pick up some books to read by some very interesting authors, please see the following:
“Omnivore’s Dilemma” and “In Defense of Food”, Michael Pollan
“Real Food – What to eat and why”, Nina Planck
“Animal, Vegetable, Miracle”, Barbara Kingsolver
“Closing the Food Gap”, Mark Winne